November 30, 2015 - Special to TRA Newswire


Company developing high-speed rail adds experience to senior executive team in Public Affairs, Construction and Finance
Appointments mark latest milestone in the private, Texas-based company project linking Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston's commercial hubs

Texas Central Partners, LLC, developers of a high-speed rail project between North Texas and Houston, has expanded its executive ranks, adding Holly Reed, a veteran executive with deep experience in public affairs, governmental and community relations at a Fortune 15 company; Doug Jones, a seasoned leader and innovator in the construction industry; and Lori Willox, a CPA and experienced financial executive.

Texas Central CEO Tim Keith announced Reed’s appointment as managing director, external affairs, along with the two other senior leaders – the latest moves forward for the privately funded transportation project.

The new positions will report directly to Keith, who said the appointments reflect the continued strength of Texas Central’s operating team as it pushes ahead with its high-speed rail plans. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2017

Reed spent 25 years at AT&T and its predecessor companies, most recently as regional vice president of external affairs. She also held leadership positions in customer service, finance operations, data center operations, marketing and advertising.

At AT&T, she and her teams handled government affairs, working with local, state and federal officials on diverse business and technology issues. She also oversaw the outreach to civic groups on the company’s commitments to local communities. In addition, she has served on the board of many local, regional and statewide organizations and non-profits.

“Holly is a dynamic and seasoned executive with exceptional knowledge and vast relationships from her work in Texas. She has documented success in leading and meeting business objectives in a heavily regulated industry,” Keith said.  “That experience is key as we engage more deeply with community and government stakeholders.”

Reed said she’s eager to join a leadership team involved in such a unique and innovative project for Texas.

“Texas Central has the vision to transform travel in our state, relying on private-sector expertise and funding to keep pace with a growing population and greater transportation needs,” she said. “It’s an exciting project that will serve as a catalyst for economic benefits not only along the route but also throughout Texas.”

The two other newly named executives are:

Doug Jones, as managing director, design build program. He is a 38-year construction veteran, formerly with Balfour Beatty Construction.

During his career, he managed major projects and has held positions of increasing responsibility.  Doug was most recently the CEO of the Balfour Beatty’s Central Region, comprised of Texas and surrounding states, with oversight of $1.4 billion in annual revenue. He is a founding member and past chairman of the Construction Industry Outreach Advisory Council, a group that promotes diversity in the construction industry.

“Doug brings an extensive construction background, especially in guiding emerging businesses and initiatives. He will play a vital and strategic role as we progress beyond our project’s design and development phase and into construction,” Keith said.

Lori Willox, a CPA with 25 years of experience in accounting and finance, as chief financial officer.

Willox most recently served as a senior vice president and CFO for Balfour Beatty’s Central region, responsible for strategy, accounting functions, operational and sales

support, and risk management. She also has been involved in major construction industry projects, with Balfour Beatty and previously at Turner Construction.

“This executives bring additional experience, relationships and credibility that is important to us as we continue to build support among local officials and other third-party groups and Texans interested in our project,” he said.

The executive changes are the latest of several milestones Texas Central has achieved in the last half of 2015, including:

First-round, development funding of $75 million secured from Texas investors.
Keith’s appointment as CEO.
Texas Central Partners board members announced, including John Kleinheinz of Fort Worth and Jack Matthews of Dallas.
Federal Railroad Administration designation of the “Utility Corridor’’ as preferred end-to-end alignment.
Dallas to Houston Contractors (DHC) announced, a joint venture between Ferrovial Agroman US Corp. and Archer Western Construction, to provide $130 million in development phase work.
A $40 million commitment from Japan Overseas Infrastructure Investment Corporation for Transport and Urban Development (JOIN), bringing total development funding to $245 million.